KEEP YOUR KITCHEN TOXIN-FREE WITH 6 EASY SWAPS
Reduce your family’s toxin exposure in the kitchen with these 6 simple swaps. From pots and pans to cleaning supplies, we share six ways to reduce exposure to harmful chemicals in the kitchen and protect your family’s health.
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The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home—it’s where every meal is prepared to sustain your family. And you probably put a lot of effort into getting healthy food on the table. But beyond balanced meals and organic food, you might not realize that some of the pots and pans you cook with and the cleaners you use may contain chemicals that are potentially harmful to the health of your family.
Ten years ago, several of my extended family members were diagnosed with cancer. I went into a tailspin of panic and anxiety. Was it genetic? Were we all exposed to some harmful chemical? Over the years I’ve calmed down a bit. I’ve also been doing research and making small changes toward a more non-toxic home. If there are any steps I can take to reduce my family’s exposure to toxins, I’m all in.
It started with replacing all of my non-stick cookware, and I’ve been making other healthy swaps ever since. If you want to limit your family’s toxin exposure in the kitchen, here are 6 simple ways to get started.
1. DITCH NON-STICK COOKWARE
With an easy-to-clean surface, non-stick cookware is a hard one to give up. But, you’ll be one step closer to a non-toxic home once you do. As I mentioned above, we ditched our non-stick cookware 10 years ago, and I can tell you it’s completely doable!
The problem with non-stick cookware and bakeware is the material used to create the non-stick surface. Non-stick coatings like Teflon contain per- or polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS chemicals. At high heat (500°F), the non-stick coating releases fumes that are potentially harmful to your health. PFAS has even been linked to certain types of cancer (1).
Have you heard the term “canary in a coalmine”? In this case, it’s “canary in the kitchen”. Hundreds of pet bird deaths have been blamed on toxic emissions from non-stick cookware (2).
Are you thinking that there’s no way your non-stick pans could get 500°F hot? Good Housekeeping performed a test to determine how fast three sets of non-stick pans (cheap and light, midweight, and heavy, high end) heat up past 500°F. All three pans heated up past 500°F in just minutes (3)!
In our kitchen, we use a combination of stainless steel pots and pans and baking sheets, a ceramic Dutch oven, glass casserole dishes and a stoneware muffin tin and loaf pan. If you do have stuck-on food, soaking the pan for 10 minutes gets most food off.